Chef’s Choice

This month’s foodie selection as recommended by Chef Mark Graves of Marko’s on 2nd, 135 S. 2nd St. in Decatur

Are you ready for some football?! The training camps and pre-season games are over and it’s time to get down to business not only on the field, but in the kitchen. Whether you’re parked in your favorite tailgating spot or huddled around a TV in your living room, great food and drink are a necessity!

When I host or attend Sunday football parties, I know two things that are sure to keep the crowd happy: wings and beer. Wings sauce can vary from hot to mild, sweet or savory, and grilled, fried or baked. As the popularity of micro and craft beer increases, you are now seeing many grocery stores selling these by the bottle, which allows you to build your own six packs. This is a great way to sample.

Spice up your Sundays with my Spicy Grilled Sriracha Buffalo Wings. Once a chef’s secret ingredient, Sriracha is becoming one of the most used condiments in both professional and home kitchens. Sriracha is a Thai-style chili sauce made with a unique blend of sun-ripened red chilies, garlic, vinegar and sugar. It is very spicy, yet full of flavor and has a unique sweetness to it! One rule of thumb when purchasing Sriracha, if it doesn’t have a rooster on the bottle, don’t bother! There are many brands popping up in super-markets, and they don’t even come close to the original.

Grilled Spicy Sriracha Buffalo Wings

grilled spicy sriracha buffalo wings1 c. Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
1 c. Sriracha 1⁄2 c. roasted garlic.
1 lb. unsalted butter (cubed)
5 lbs. raw chicken wings
1⁄2 c. canola oil.
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan combine Frank’s Red Hot sauce, Sriracha and roasted garlic. Lightly simmer for 10 minutes. Next, with a whisk, slowly add butter piece by piece whisking constantly (so that butter doe not separate). After all the butter has been added remove from heat. Next,add chicken wings and oil to a large mixing bowl, toss the wings with the oil until evenly coated, season with kosher salt and pepper. Next, grill chicken wings at 400 degree,s until they are cooked completely through, and have a nice charr to them. Finally, in a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken wings with the sauce.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

homemade bleu cheese dressing3⁄4 c. sour cream
1 1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 t. dry mustard
1⁄2 t. garlic powder
1⁄2 t. celery seed
1⁄2 t. salt
1⁄2 t. black pepper
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Season with dry mustard, garlic powder, celery seed, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Pairs Well With…

founders ipaabitaTo wash down those spicy wings, I have selected two unique brews. Founder’s “All Day” IPA and Abita Lemon Wheat. The Founder’s Brewery is located just north of us in Grand Rapids, Mich.. This IPA is complex with an array of malts, grains and hops. This microbrew has a very clean finish and is useful to cleanse the palate when eating spicy foods.

Abita Brewery is on a bit of a larger scale, yet manage a wide variety of unique brews. This brewery was once a Louisiana secret until a famous chef by the name of Emeril Lagasse began using Abita beers on his cooking show “Emeril Live.” BAM! They have a great variety of different styles, but the brew that has caught my attention and taste buds is the Lemon Wheat. Abita Lemon Wheat is brewed with lemon peel giving it a clean and refreshing citrus flavor and aroma.

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